Family Roots run Deep in Israel and China

March 25, 2013

In 1967, I was stationed at Camp Pendleton, California. Between June 5 – 10, six months after I returned from Vietnam, Israel fought the Six-Day War defeating several Islamic nations that had twice the troops Israel had, more combat aircraft and many more tanks.

It was Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Algeria, Libya, Kuwait, Tunisia, Sudan and the PLO against Israel.

Israel’s had a total of 264,000 troops with only 100,000 deployed. The Islamic nations had a total of 547,000 troops with 240,000 deployed. Israel had 800 tanks to 2,504, and 300 combat aircraft to 957.

After Israel’s victory, I remember saying, “We should let Israel fight the Vietnam War for us.  At least Israel’s leaders know how to fight.”

The Jews and the Chinese have four things in common—loyalty to family, a high respect for education, a willingness to work long hours for low pay, and a canny acumen for business. Because of these similarities, the Chinese have even been called the Jews of Asia.

The Jews have a long history with China. In China: A New Promised Land, by R. E. Prindle, an interview with David Grossman, Israel’s leading novelist talks about the Jews moving to China.

When a father goes to work in China, he works for his family—not himself. After the children grow up, they must care for their parents—not the other way around like in America.  In America, many parents tell their children to do whatever they want and be anything they want. Most children follow that advice even if it means getting a degree to become an artist or skipping college to chase dreams of acting, singing or sports fame while attending parties or visiting theme parks like Disneyland because mom and dad said, “We want you to be happy—to have fun.”

It’s different for many Jews and Chinese. Working hard and earning an education are important to both cultures.  A close friend of mine and his wife, both Jewish, took out a loan on their home so their son could become a doctor and their daughter a lawyer. They bought a condominium near the university their children attended as a place to live. Both the mother and father were teachers, who did not earn much, which shows that Jewish parents, like the Chinese, are willing to sacrifice for their children in ways many American parents would find unacceptable in the age of credit cards and instant gratification.

This willingness to sacrifice for the family and nation may have been the reason the Jews won the Six-Day War against overwhelming odds. Although the Chinese have the same values and are willing to make the same sacrifices for family, they did not know how to fight like the Jews—something the surviving Jews must have learned due to Nazi atrocities.


Will the changing China also change family values?

After Mao won China, he caused much suffering with the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution where the goal may have been to root out the weaknesses that caused China to become a victim to Western Imperialism in the 19th century and then Japan during World War II.

I wonder if the Chinese learned the lessons Mao taught them through suffering similar to what the Jews experienced from Hitler.  I wonder if China will fight like Israel if threatened again. Before Mao, China was a country of poets and artists who painted watercolors on rice paper.  Even Mao and his generals wrote poems. I do not believe the Chinese are a military threat to anyone who does not threaten them.

Like Israel, China may only respond if they feel they are going to be attacked, and if Mao left them ready to defend themselves against aggressors, then the horrors that caused so much suffering and death during the 27 years he ruled China might have been worth the sacrifice for the survival of this family focused culture.

Most America families were like that once before the industrial revolution and the self-esteem movement made the individual more important than the family. Back then, 95% of the population lived on small family farms near towns and hamlets instead of bulging cities dominated by corporate cultures and sexy advertisements. Today, most family roots in the United States do not run deep—not like the Chinese and Jews.

See The First of all Virtues

_______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

Subscribe to “iLook China”!
Sign up for an E-mail Subscription at the top of this page, or click on the “Following” tab in the WordPress toolbar at the top of the screen.

About iLook China


Recognizing Good Parenting — Part 3/8

April 27, 2011

Until Amy Chua’s essay, Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior appeared in The Wall Street Journal and her memoir, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother was published, there wasn’t much of a discussion or debate about parenting in America.

These obsessive Politically Correct, self-esteem driven parent held sway over how most Americans raised children.

Now, thanks to Amy Chua, there is a wakeup call to many future and current parents. Critics have accused Amy Chua of child abuse, being a narcissist, a liar, a backstabber, a psychopath, etc.

Amy Chua was also attacked for daring to say Chinese mothers were superior to the soft American parent.

In fact, Amy Chua was parenting as the Old Testament advises except for the spanking (she never mentions in her memoir that she spanked her children).

Maybe Chua should have spanked her younger daughter Lulu because she was rude, insulting and rebellious.  Maybe she should have used soap and washed out Lulu’s mouth.

Continued on April 28, 2011 in Recognizing Good Parenting – Part 4 or return to Part 2

______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

If you want to subscribe to iLook China, there is a “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.

This post first appeared on March 21, 2011, at Crazy Normal, a blog about education, parenting and coming of age.


Recognizing Good Parenting — Part 2/8

April 26, 2011

To discover how far the average parent in the US has gone to pamper the average child, the March 2011 Bulletin for AARP provided more disturbing statistics.

In Pampering Our Kids, AARP said, “When boomers finally became parents, they wanted nothing but the best for the little ones, driving sales for infants, toddlers and preschoolers to more than 17 billion a year.”

In addition, Money Management Works said, “Teen spending is playing a bigger and bigger role in the U.S. economy. Teenagers have money and they are spending it.… Despite the recession, 75% of teens are receiving the same or more spending money this year than last year.

“Clothing accounts for the biggest chunk of spending by teens, at 34%. Entertainment places second, at 22%, and food is third, at 16%.

“In a 2007 article by marketingvox, according to Packaged Facts, teen spending was $189.7 billion in 2006 and will be $208.7 billion by 2011. This is despite a 3% decline in the 12-17-year-old population over the same time period.”

Studies and statistics show that 80% of American parents (way above average) never attend a parent-teacher conference during the time their child is in kindergarten through twelfth grade (public schools).

This change in parenting also resulted in statistics describing today’s average American child and teen spending about 10 hours daily having fun watching TV, playing video games, social networking on Facebook, hanging out with other teens at the mall, or sending endless text messages to friends.

Politeness among the average American child and teen was out and rudeness was in. The old adage of the child “to be seen and not heard” was as good as dead for the average parent.

However, Albert Mohler, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, says, “‘Seen but not heard’ is not the best model for parenting children. On the other hand, it is infinitely superior to the abdication of adult authority that marks the current age.”

To be continued on April 27, 2011 in Recognizing Good Parenting – Part 3 or return to Part 1

______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

If you want to subscribe to iLook China, there is a “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.

This post first appeared on March 20, 2011, at Crazy Normal, a blog about education, parenting and coming of age


Deep Family Roots

March 28, 2010

In 1967, I was stationed at Camp Pendleton, California. Between June 5 to 10, six months after I returned from Vietnam, Israel fought the Six-Day War defeating four Islamic nations that had twice the troops Israel had, three times the combat aircraft and three times as many tanks.

Israel and Syria During the Six Day War

I remember saying, “We should let them fight the Vietnam War for us.  At least Israel’s leaders know how to fight.”

The Jews and the Chinese have four things in common—loyalty to family, a high respect for education, a willingness to work long hours for low pay, and a canny acumen for business. Because of these similarities, the Chinese have even been called the Jews of Asia.

The Jews have a long history with China. In China: A New Promised Land, by R. E. Prindle, an interview with David Grossman, Israel’s leading novelist talks about the Jews moving to China.

When a father goes to work in China, he works for his family—not himself. After the children grow up, they must care for their parents—not the other way around like in America.  In America, many parents tell their children to do whatever they want and be anything they want. Most children follow that advice even if it means getting a degree to become an artist or skipping college to chase dreams of acting, singing or sports fame while attending parties or visiting theme parks like Disneyland because mom and dad said, “We want you to be happy—to have fun.”

It’s different for many Jews and Chinese. Working hard and earning an education are important to both cultures.  A close friend of mine and his wife, both Jewish, took out a loan on their home so their son could become a doctor and their daughter a lawyer. They bought a condominium near the university their children attended as a place to live. Both the mother and father were teachers, who did not earn much, which shows that Jewish parents, like the Chinese, are willing to sacrifice for their children in ways many American parents would find unacceptable in the age of credit cards and instant gratification.

Li Family - Three Generations

Three Generations of the Proud Li Family

This willingness to sacrifice for the family and nation may have been the reason the Jews won the Six-Day War against overwhelming odds. Although the Chinese have the same values and are willing to make the same sacrifices for family, they did not know how to fight like the Jews—something the surviving Jews must have learned due to Nazi atrocities.

After Mao won China, he caused much suffering with the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution where the goal may have been to root out the weaknesses that caused China to become a victim to Western Imperialism in the 19th century and Japan during World War II.

I wonder if the Chinese learned the lessons Mao taught them through suffering similar to what the Jews experienced from Hitler.  I wonder if China will fight like Israel if threatened again. Before Mao, China was a country of poets and artists who painted watercolors on rice paper.  Even Mao and his generals wrote poems. I do not believe the Chinese are a military threat to anyone who does not threaten them.

Like Israel, China will only respond if they feel they are going to be attacked, and if Mao left them ready to defend themselves against aggressors, then the horrors that caused so much suffering and death during the 27 years he ruled China might have been worth the sacrifice for the survival of this family focused culture.

Most America families were like that once before the industrial revolution and the self-esteem movement made the individual more important than the family. Back then, 90% of the population lived on small family farms near towns and hamlets instead of bulging cities dominated by corporate cultures and sexy advertisements. Today, most family roots in the United States do not run deep—not like the Chinese and Jews.

Discover The First of all Virtues

______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

His latest novel is the multiple-award winning Running with the Enemy.

Subscribe to “iLook China”!
Sign up for an E-mail Subscription at the top of this page, or click on the “Following” tab in the WordPress toolbar at the top of the screen.

About iLook China

 


Family Connections

March 7, 2010

In China, if you can’t trust anyone else, you should be able to trust your family. That belief also applied to the emperors.

In China, when a minority king became too powerful and caused unrest, the emperor proposed that this king marry the emperor’s real daughter (instead of an adopted daughter), as if to say, “You will be a member of my family so stop what you are doing—stop fighting with The Middle Kingdom. Since we are soon to be related through marriage, there is no need to fight.”

This happened more than a thousand years ago with Tibet when the Emperor of the Tang Dynasty married his daughter to the Tibetan king so the Tibetans would stop raiding China.

Traditional Chinese Wedding

Under the rule of emperors, minorities were not forced to pay taxes like the Han Chinese. It was believed that minorities were less fortunate and did not have the same advantages. After Mao, China’s government, with few exceptions, continued this policy.

More about a few of China’s Minorities
China’s Zhuang & Yao ethnic people
Li River Minority area
Li River Minority area # 2

______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. 

If you want to subscribe to iLook China, there is a “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.


Guest Post—They All Look Alike

February 12, 2010

By Bob Grant — publisher/editor for Speak Without Interruption
Originally published at Speak Without Interruption on February 8, 2010

One of our US government officials reportedly made a comment with the word “retarded” in it.  There was also an attempt to make a joke using “Special Olympics” on a TV show in the past.  Why do people say the things they do?  Why have I said some of things I have said?  When I have made comments at the expense of others, I thought either it was funny or it made me feel important in some perverse way.  As I have gotten older, experience has taught me to think before I speak—at least a little more than I did in my younger years.  What someone says as a casual statement—or an attempt to make a joke—can offend others on a multitude of levels.

 There are a little over 1.3 billion people in China from the figures I have seen.  I have had people say to me, “With that many people, how do you tell them apart?  They all look alike.” 

 After having an association with specific Chinese people since 1998, I take great offense when someone says something like this to my face or within earshot.  To me, they do not all look alike.  They may all have similar physical features but I see each person I have met in my business dealings as a singular and unique individual just as I would feel about anyone I met throughout the world.  As you meet people—speak with them—get to know them, I think everyone has personal features, mannerisms, personalities that make them different from other people in the world.

 In terms of my feelings for China, and its people, it is only based on those who I have met personally.  As I view it, there are values that I have found all Chinese possess—the reverence of  family and respect for their elders.  I wish these values were more evident in the US. 

 With 1.3 billion people milling around China, how can they have these values when there are so many of them?  I once worked with a product that was to replace the toxic cleaner Nitric Acid.  In most instances, the shipping tanks in the ocean liners have to be cleaned out after they are emptied. 

 They send “Chinese People” into these tanks to spray them out.  One contact actually said, “There are so many Chinese that when one dies from being exposed to the Nitric Acid there are a million more to take their place.”  It was all I could do to keep my hands from going around his neck or punching his lights out — being older at the time, I felt he was not worth the hassle.

 I believe the respect for family—and elders—in China is not something just confined to my small group of acquaintances there.  I think this is something that is countrywide, and I feel this is a virtue beyond description.  During one of my visits, my friend and primary associate invited me to a party to honor his new young son. 

 We held this event in a large, private room within a very nice restaurant.  There were many people there, and as I have written regarding other situations, I was again the only non-Chinese in the room.  I felt completely at ease and extremely honored he would invite me to such an important “family event”.  The photo above shows me with my associate, his wife, his mother, and his new young son. I did, and still do, feel like part of their family.  To me they remain friends, family and associates, and they “certainly” do not all look alike to me!

See The First of All Virtues

If you want to read previous posts by Bob Grant, please see Love Affair


The First of all Virtues – Part 5/9

January 31, 2010

During the summer of 2007, a teen with his supposed girlfriend, both strangers, wanted to rent a room for an hour or two at a motel. We had just pulled into that motel’s parking lot in Southern California after driving several hundred miles. We heard the motel manager say, “No way!”

The boy turned to me as I was getting out of the car, and he said, “Hey, old man, can you give us a ride to the next motel? They will not rent us a room here.”

I’m sure this adolescent was out for quick sex. He probably didn’t even know the girl’s name or care. But the lack of respect for an older person was obvious. And of course, conservatives don’t help any when they promote their brand of brainwashing like this blog post Liberal Brainwashing for Dummies.

Mudslinging isn’t going to solve anything. What America needs is both ideologies to work together to strengthen the family by teaching parents how to say “NO” and stop encouraging kids to do what feels good.

Go to The First of All Virtues Part 6 or return to Part 4

______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. 

Subscribe to “iLook China”
Sign up for an E-mail Subscription at the top of this page.

About iLook China


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 10,129 other followers